Album Review: Minzy – Minzy Work 01. “Uno”

A year after her departure from 2NE1, former member Minzy has made her long-awaited solo debut with mini album Minzy Work 01. “Uno”.

 Release Date: 17 April 2017

Tracklist:

01. Ni Na No (니나노) (feat. Flowsik)
02. Superwoman (수퍼우먼)
03. ING (알쏭달쏭)
04. Flashlight (feat. Jay Park)
05. Beautiful Lie
06. Ni Na No (English Rap Ver.) (feat. Flowsik)

Total Runtime: 20:38

Recommended for: 2NE1/individual Minzy fans, people who love dance and R&B

Not recommended for: Ballad enthusiasts

 

As mentioned above, Minzy’s solo debut was something Blackjacks were hoping to happen for years, since she’s been often considered an unrecognized talent powerhouse by fans and non-fans alike. Being a longtime fan myself, as sad as I was seeing her leave 2NE1 back in 2016, I was really excited seeing her finally come back to the music industry with her own mini album. She has a lot more creative freedom in her work now compared to her YGE days – a quick Wikipedia search shows she wrote lyrics for every track on the album – so naturally fans had high expectations. Let’s give it a listen to see if she met them (for me, at least):

01. Ni Na No (니나노)

Ni Na No is a fairly upbeat song that starts off promising, with a beat-driven instrumental and middle eastern-like chanting in the background during the verses. The pre-chorus may come off as disjointed in comparison but it’s still a good buildup to the chorus, which, to my disappointment, was quite underwhelming. Overall it’s a pretty uninspired title track that leaves to be desired, but generic isn’t always bad. After several listens I find the song to be catchy and I’d bop to it every now and then, even if it ends way too abruptly.  Kudos to Flowsik for having a cool rap sequence though.

02. Superwoman (수퍼우먼)

Up next is the heavily R&B-inspired track ‘Superwoman’. Minzy’s vocals shine here a lot more, fitting in with the soothing instrumentals like a glove. The melody throughout the whole song is relaxing which would be fine if the chorus wasn’t so stale. It feels like a mere repeat of the intro, which doesn’t give the track much justice overall. Much like Ni Na No, it’s not a bad song per se, but had potential to sound much better.

03. ING (알쏭달쏭)

ING is an EDM/reggae fusion track of sorts. I dislike that I have to repeat myself with the fact that this song just doesn’t do it for me. The melody doesn’t feel like it’s going anywhere, it’s more of a filler track than anything, really.  It’s not terrible but I wouldn’t bother finishing this song when it comes up while listening to the album.

04. Flashlight (feat. Jay Park)

Flashlight is a bona fide chill R&B track, and is an improvement from the previous two tracks. Again, nothing too spectacular of a song, but it’s decent and enjoyable in my books. Although it would’ve been much better off without Jay Park’s accompaniment, which is my opinion felt plain unnecessary.

05. Beautiful Lie

The last track, Beautiful Lie, is surprisingly my personal favorite off this mini despite it being a ballad. It is a genuinely good one at that though, with Minzy’s vocal talent being showcased the most out of every other song. The instrumentals switch to the traditional ballad sound in the first verse to a more soft pop style, which keeps the melody solid. I like how the pounding beat during the second half of the song gives it a little more flavor as well.

06. Ni Na No (English Rap Ver.) (feat. Flowsik)

Nothing much to say here, other than the fact that it’s the exact same song as Ni Na No except for the fact that Flowsik’s parts are in English. I think it’s kind of a waste that this is only an ‘English rap version’ instead of a fully English one where the entirety of the song is in English. It would’ve been a pretty cool addition, considering that Minzy has good English skills in the first place.

Review overview
Summary Personally, Minzy’s solo debut unfortunately hasn’t lived up to expectations. It’s an OK mini album, but I probably won’t be listening to it much aside from a couple of favorites. But even those aren’t much to write home about in terms of musical quality. I appreciate that she involved herself a lot when making this album, but in the end I’m still left a little disappointed. I’m rooting for a better release in the (hopefully) near future.
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